2010 Sox Draft Preview
By: Colby Garrapy
LOWELL, MASS. – June 7th here we come.
As the morning of June 7th rolls around, most people will be going through their daily routine, preparing for the upcoming workweek and trying to make it through a case of the Mondays. For Amiel Sawdaye and the Red Sox it starts three days that can make or break the future of the organization.
Amiel Sawdaye, a 1999 graduate of the University of Maryland, started his career with General Electric. Looking to change career paths Sawdaye sent resumes and contacted teams in pursuit of anything in baseball. Luckily for him, with the sale of the team in 2002 to John Henry, Sawdaye got an interview with the Sox where he was hired as an intern in the baseball operations department.
Long hours, low pay, but great networking paid off for Sawdaye as he became a scouting assistant in 2004 and the Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting the next year. Because of him, systems were developed in helping the Sox prepare for drafts. Now, with the departure of Jason McLeod, architect of the last several Red Sox drafts, the Red Sox saw it as a clear move in promoting Sawdaye as the Director of Amateur Scouting.
This will be the first year for Sawdaye since his promotion and it looks as though the future is bright for him and the organization. While the Red Sox maintain the second highest payroll in the MLB, it doesn’t take away the success the draft has brought for them. Of the Red Sox current 25-man roster, seven have come from the Sox draft in previous years.
Daniel Bard (2006), Clay Buchholz (2005, played for Lowell), Manny Delcarmen (2000), Jon Lester (2002), Jonathan Papelbon (2003, played for Lowell), Dustin Pedroia (2004), and Kevin Youkilis (2001, played for Lowell). This isn’t even including players like Jacoby Ellsbury (DL), Ryan Westmoreland, Casey Kelley, and more.
While the Sox have maintained success in the draft in the past years, it will be exciting to see what approach they take this coming week with Sawdaye now in charge. The Sox hold four of the first 57 picks in the draft, thanks to compensatory draft picks for losing Jason Bay. Every pick is crucial and will play a huge role in the future success of the team.
At SoxProspects.com they broke down some reports of the players linked to the Red Sox for the upcoming event. I took the time to list some of these players and provide some scouting reports for what I have learned thus far.
Linked Top Round Players
Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, LSU. Regarded as one of the top pitchers in 2010 class. Poor 2010 for Ranaudo, as an injury and command set him back early. Fastball can sit around 93 MPH that he keeps down in the zone. Sharp curveball as a secondary, along with a changeup, but it doesn’t compare with his other two pitches. Biggest challenge could be his agent Boras, but good relationship between Epstein and him is an added bonus.
Kolbrin Vitek, 2B, Ball State. Vitek has continued to produce excellent numbers all year due to his ability to hit with consistency and his amazing bat speed. Speed ranks above average giving him the ability to take bases. Currently residing at second base, it isn’t regarded as his best position. This could change in the future to potentially third base or even corner outfield.
Kaleb Cowart, RHP/3B, Cook County HS. This Georgia native could be taken for his skills on the mound or skills at the plate. From the mound Cowart’s fastball is above average. He compliments it well with his slider, along with a slight feel for his change. At the plate he is a powerful switch hitter from both sides of the plate. Has drawn comparisons to Chipper Jones.
Bryce Brentz, OF, Middle TN State. Brentz is a corner outfielder with pure talent. He possesses above average raw power to all fields with an above average arm. He is a good fielder and aggressive at the plate. With his short compact stroke and potential power output Brentz will be taken as one of the hottest college bats in the draft.
Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, Citadel. A starter in college many think he has the makeup of a future closer or setup man. His fastball hits 94 MPH that he compliments with an improved slider, and a changeup he rarely throws. His command is what worries some, but with a switch into the pen he could make it through the system quickly and increase velocity on his pitches.
Barret Loux, RHP, Texas A&M. Many have taken a lot of notice of Loux this year. His fastball touches 94 and he has a great change. His curve and slider could use some development in the minors, but his mound presence and durability complimented with his command has established himself as an early pick.
Robbie Aviles, RHP, Suffern HS (NY). Lean athletic build with three good pitches. Hits 93 MPH with his fastball that he matches with a decent curveball and good changeup that isn’t used to its potential.
Ty Linton, OF, Charlotte Christian HS (NC). Linton has a strong athletic body that feature above average raw power. He can have issues making consistent contact and his long swing that worries some. He has below average running ability and arm strength, along with average fielding.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Stanek (Blue Valley HS), Sean Coyle (Germantown Academy), Brian Fletcher (Auburn), Blake Dean (LSU), Ryan O’Rourke (Merrimack College), Chris Kirsch (Marple Newtown HS), Maverick Miles (South Rowan HS).
Starting June 7th at 7 pm look for these names as the Sox make their selections for the 2010 First Year Player Draft. These could be the next big stars to begin their professional careers here in Lowell and some day follow in the shoes of the Papelbons and Ellsburys of the world at Fenway.